Sony Pictures is getting a move-on with the feature film adaptation of the 1980s CBS crime series The Equalizer. Denzel Washington has been set to star as far back as last December, and Sony is hoping to make the film the first in a franchise. The TV series centered on a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble. The film will retain that main conceit, but is only loosely based on the show. Deadline reports that an April 8th start date has been set for the feature, most likely in Boston, but the next order of business is finding a director. Hit the jump to see who’s landed on Sony’s shortlist.
Though more names will undoubtedly crop up in the coming months, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), Pierre Morel (Taken), Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), and Gareth Evans (The Raid) are apparently the names currently on the studio’s list. I’d love to see Refn take Washington is a completely different direction than his current fanbase is used to, but the director had previously stated that his next film would be I Walk with the Dead, and he’s also attached to the Logan’s Run remake and an adaptation of Button Man, so I doubt he can fit The Equalizer into his schedule.
Evans is another exciting choice, but he’s gearing up to shoot his The Raid sequel, Berendal. There’s really not a bad director on this list, and you can kind of gauge the tone of The Equalizer based on these filmmakers’ resumes. It likely won’t be long before a director is set given how soon production starts, so hopefully we hear firm word soon. Washington is currently filming the thriller 2 Guns and will be seen later this year in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight.